This article was published today by The Artisan Odyssey....
Discovering Calle 8, or Rediscovering it!
Do you know Calle 8? Most people would answer, sure, lots of trinkets, loud music, and botanicas. Well that answer is slowly but surely changing in people who venture out this way, and either discover Calle 8 or Rediscover it.
Almost two years ago, I opened my art gallery here at 2248 on SW 8th Street, and slowly along the entire street I have seen changes. Sure we have been plagued by mysterious fires in the middle of the night, and other extracurricular activities, yet the area is in an upswing for sure.
If you start on SW 27th Avenue, you'll first encounter Wine and Friends, a cozy, colorful spot where you can taste wine and tapas, enjoy local music and a monthly art exhibit. Less than a couple of blocks, you come across a funky building, Teatro en Miami Studio. Take the stairs all the way to the top and discover Ernesto and Sandra Garcia, two very talented people, doing what they do best: GOOD THEATER!
After the show, either stop in Casa Juancho for drinks and the typical commotion at the bar, or head over to Zu Galeria Fine Arts, my place! A boutique d'art as a journalist once said, which has a patio that everyone loves. Here you will find original art by exclusive artists only exhibiting in my gallery. From sculptures to handcrafted jewelry, or simply stop by for some wine. There's always something for everyone.
Right next to us, there's Miami Art Workshop, which hopefully will open soon, and it will offer 2 theaters, a dance studio, art gallery, and lots of quality activities. If antiques are what you are looking for, stop in at Nasser Antiques, and you'll feel like a kid in a candy store, for they have wonderful pieces.
Looking for a cozy nightclub where you are likely to run into many local celebrities, and even some big Hollywood names have found their way into Hoy Como Ayer. Right next to them, is artist Maria Sonia Martin's studio and art gallery. Go in, check out her work, which is varied and extremely good.
Cross over and almost on the corner there's Teatro Bellas Artes, a landmark which has been there for many years and usually offers varied activities. A few blocks down, there's Teatro 8, run by talented artist and director Marcos Casanova, offering very good serious theater.
Take a short drive, and start on 17th avenue, where there's a whole area of art galleries, from Mildred Guillot and her beautiful work, next Agustin Gainza's detailed, and colorful works, new neighbors Marta Oliva Fonseca and Jesse Rios right next door, and Cremata's exquisite gallery. There's Art District Cigars, offering cigars, music, and art. Luis Molina's art gallery, a place where people love to mingle, thanks to the good energy Luis and Mario give off, and the tropical colors of Luis's works.
Let's cross the street and right across Molina you can go into Unzueta Gallery, and although the artist lives in Spain, you can see the artist's favorite topic: Women, aloof, lonely women. Turn the corner, and step into Galeria Arche, where Alexis displays some of her work, and you will also find the works of other local artists.
Coming up, again on Calle 8, the first stop is El Rincon de MaryTrini, local diva of Spanish TV, Marytrini which runs the shop and you can buy anything from one of a kind accessories to gift items and unique pieces of clothing. Contemporanea, their next door neighbor is a an art gallery offering monthly exhibits by very talented local artists. Next door there is Top Cigars, where there's always great music and their top cigars. If looking for rare DVD's or CD's you need to look no further, step into Marakka 2000.
I Love Calle 8, yes I do, but no, this is the name of one of my favorite spots in Little Havana, crepes, el malcriao, come at night and enjoy live music and tapas, and the welcoming smiles of owner Betty and Baby make you love them too.
There's the infamous or is it famous Domino Park, Little Havana to Go, a boutique of Cuban theme souvenirs, Romo's Restaurant where they roast their pigs in the backyard, the Tower Theatre, El Exquisito and its new look, also displaying art monthly, all across the street on the other side of La 8. Looking for an artsy gift, or one of her surrealistic pieces, step into artist Marta Ismail's gallery. You will want to stay on and on, for she has an enchanting little patio in the back, and a personality you'll adore.
Keep walking, there's Maxoly in the corner or Latin Art Core, exhibiting masters like nobody else does. Walk thru the middle door into Jackie's Old Cuba, and you can get anything from one of a kind t-shirts to die for, caps, you name it! Alfaro's, has custom made guayaberas, and an intimate nightspot where people enjoy until the wee hours of the night right next door.
Last but not least, there's Casa Panza, another landmark in Calle 8 with a Spanish flavor, the place gets packed especially on Thursday when they dance and pray to La Virgen del Rosario.
There's a gallery night, Viernes Culturales, the last Friday of each month, not to be missed!
I hope you still have energy to keep reading the rest of the newsletter, but I also hope you give Calle 8 a chance, discover it, or re-discover it.... I know you won't want to leave us, once you try!